At school, big boys ink-in the soft flesh between
Their forefinger and middle finger to make it seem
Like they are sporting ‘fanny’, the term they use
When they boast about the place that we still view
With a kind of Halloween fascination:
Though we will feign familiarisation,
Of course, faking manly knowledge of the great
Girlish unknown. We can recognise the get-
Up of the strut: leggy model, knuckle-kneed,
Finger nails as toenails painted to succeed
In attracting the big boys, who’re now walking
Fingers on desktops, scissoring them with glee.
Or back in the ‘Coole, they press palms together
Either side of some open-faced fence chicken wire
And tell us that it feels just like fanny lips
Or the firm, forgiving flesh of budding breasts.
And then, if you slip a hand under a skirt
And run it up above the smooth stocking top
To the softest skin-silk of opening thighs,
You are in to see the whites of willing eyes.
Sometimes we catch them in action behind the
Maisonettes, involved in sex scenes fit for Huh?
Two on one, a young thing stretched across their knees
On the late night, bulb-fused, Baltic, cement steps,
Being played like a four-handed piano –
Two on the white bits; two on the dark below.
Or in a disused coal shed behind bricked houses
Where Wranglers are unzipped to undone blouses,
There are big boys, bone-hard, and wet at the tip,
With big girls in need of salve for swollen lips,
Proving the best and worst that love can offer.
We spy through rusty keyholes (What the Butler
Saw!) or listen long outside closed doors to moans
Which clearly come from a good place; and to groans
Which sound closer to a bad horror movie,
The kind that one just can’t bring oneself to see,
Which make it hard to tell if it is really
Wanted or not – being stolen; not for free.
In these concrete cities, jungles of hormones,
Every type of situation happens,
Same as in the privileged suburban scene,
But often rawer, more brutal, more obscene,
More often on the wrong side of right and wrong.
Like when young babysitters play horsey on
The man of the house’s lap before the wife
Comes home; or find themselves fighting for their life
In the backs of parked cars before being dropped
Off outside their mummy’s door with their pocket
Money wet with tears, silence-sworn forever
For fear of the fallout if Da were aware.
Or when older women get backed against side walls,
Being had by drunken men with bully balls.
But justice can come by the old dog eat dog,
When such meet their maker in a cold bar bog.
Despite the risky outweighing the risqué,
And lust shading love on a given day,
‘Coole girls and boys still curl up their lips and move
To The King’s own hunk-a-hunk of burning love.